You are currently browsing the archives for February, 2007.

Even Arkansas realizes enough is enough by refusing to make folks convicted of DWI place special license plates on their cars

MSNBC reported that an Arkansas lawmaker, Rep. Pam Adcock, introduced a bill that would make folks that were convicted of DWI place hot pink license plates, starting with the letters DWI, on their vehicle

“The DWI license plate shall be a bright pink color that is easily distinguishable from other license plates issued in the state,” the bill said.

The bill was to affect drivers who were required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.

After considering the bill, the Arkansas House Transportation Committee voted down a proposal to require drivers convicted of DWI to have a pink license plate on their vehicles.

Some House committee members felt that the pink DUI plates might embarrass other family members who might need to drive the car.

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Bill introduced to streamline the ALR Process – AKA Suspend more licenses

Senator Steve Ogden from Bryan has just introduced a bill, SB 768, which, if passed would result in a serious decay of what little due process rights exist in the ALR Process.

Senate Bill 768 would allow everyone except for the Judge and the defendant, or their attorney, to appear by affidavit. Attorneys would no longer be allowed to subpoena and require a police officer to attend and to stand by his decision to arrest the person. Further, even the State’s own attorney, the “prosecutor” in these types of cases, could appear by subpoena. Read the rest of this entry »

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Search Warrant for your blood is APDs latest tool for DWIs

The Austin American Statesman ran a nice story on APD’s new tool for getting evidence against folks suspected of DWI.

If you are stopped for DWI, and you have a prior conviction within the last 5 years, are in an accident, have two or more prior convictions, had a child in the car, or suspect if you fail the attitude test, the officer can now go to a Magistrate and request a search warrant for your blood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the frame around your license plate illegal? Probably so

If you unintentionally cover even a small portion of your car’s license plate you can be stopped by police, ticketed and perhaps arrested for the offense, the state’s highest criminal court ruled Wednesday. Further, if someone else (a car dealership) covered a portion of the plate, you subject yourself to the same consequences.

The 8-1 decision in Craig Hill Johnson v. State of Texas left three Court of Criminal Appeals judges shaking their heads — stating that the statute was “uncommonly bad,” but they still held that the letter of the law prohibits drivers from encasing their license plate in a frame that obscures the state name, state nickname or even portions of the artwork. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will talking Urinal Cakes prevent DWIs? New Mexico is betting it will.

From the state that brought us mandatory Ignition Interlock on the first DWI, New Mexico has decided to invest heavily into putting talking urinal cakes in men’s restrooms. The state has ordered 500 talking urinal cakes that will deliver a recorded anti-DWI message to bar and restaurant customers. I guess they will try anything once.

The state has ordered 500 talking urinal cakes that will deliver a recorded anti-DWI message to bar and restaurant patrons who make one last pit stop before getting behind the wheel.

“Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks?” a female voice says a few seconds after an approaching male sets off a motion sensor in the device. “It’s time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home.”

These urinal cakes are being purcahsed from the Wizmark company. The devices, were invented by Richard Deutsch.

“The idea is based on the concept that there is no more captive audience than a guy standing at a urinal,” Deutsch said. “You can’t look right and you can’t look left; you’ve got to look at the ad.”

If New Mexico is using it, can Texas be too far behind? My guess is no.

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Sobriety (DWI) Checkpoints are illegal, but is there a local agency ignoring that?

The Williamson County Attorney’s office is investigating a complaint of an illegal sobriety checkpoint near Interstate 35 last month.

A woman said people appearing to be police officers stopped her at about 11 p.m. Jan. 20 along on the westbound access road of FM 1431 at I-35 in Round Rock, County Attorney Jana Duty said.

While the County Attorney is treating this as a fake sobriety checkpoint, merely because the relevant agencies are denying that they did it, I am not so sure.

The men, claiming to be police officers, pulled over several cars Jan. 20 at I-35 and 1431, near the new Ikea store in Round Rock.

It was about 11 p.m. on Jan. 20 when at least one woman was pulled over by two men claiming to be police officers.

The witness reported that two police cars, one with lights on top and one unmarked, had closed a lane of traffic on FM 1431 and had stopped three to four cars. A man who said he was a police officer approached the woman’s car and told her the stop was a checkpoint to search for drunk drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

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MADD’s Double Standard

Mothers Against Drunk Driving praised Ocean City Police on Jan. 11 for officers’ handling of the Oct. 29 traffic stop and non-arrest of Delaware State Rep. John C. Atkins. MADD representatives were particularly quick to support decisions made by Officer Douglas A. Smith, OCPD’s toughest DUI enforcement officer, who along with trainee Natalie R. Smolko, performed the stop.

OCPD came under fire when news broke that Smith and Smolko stopped Atkins, who was swerving in his car and blew a .14 in his preliminary breath test, but decided against making a DUI arrest. “We feel very confident that the officers followed the proper procedures and protocols,” said Caroline Cash, executive director for the Chesapeake Region of MADD.

The decision to not arrest was made based on Atkins speaking clearly and not fumbling when retrieving his license and stepping out of his vehicle. The fact that he blew a .14 was irrelevant in Smith’s decision not to arrest since PBT readings are not admissible in court, Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said. Read the rest of this entry »

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